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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-28-09, 02:30 PM   #1
mikeybikes
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Numb index and middle fingers - suggestions?

My ride to and from work is ~5.5 miles. After about mile three, I get numbness in my index finger and partially my middle finger.

My bike is a flat bar Specialized Sirrus w/ Grip shifts. This problem started coming up in the last month or so. When I got the bike in March, I had to grab a pair of gloves to help with the pinky and ring finger going numb.

What am I doing wrong and how do I help fix it?
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Old 07-28-09, 02:33 PM   #2
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Too much weight on your hands coupled with the lack of more than 1 hand postion could lead to this.

Bar ends can give you a few extra hand positions (on the bar end, hand spread our spanning the bar and end grip area, hands on the corners of the bar ends, etc)

you may try to raise your stem if you can to put you more upright, or try a shorter stem if you have access to them.

I don't run into hand issues when I ride. I ride TT Base Bars and road drops which give more than a few hand positions. I also always wear gloves (mostly for sweaty hands and crash safety, moreso than vibration damping).
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Old 07-28-09, 02:40 PM   #3
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http://www.sheldonbrown.com/pain.html#fingers
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Old 07-28-09, 03:26 PM   #4
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+1 on barends....try the cane creek ergo or the Ergons Everyone is different, but I just can ride flat bars for any distance.....I put the cane creek ergo on and it was a huge help.
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Old 07-28-09, 04:35 PM   #5
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Not using your middle finger enough. You're a commuter now - salute the cagers!
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Old 07-28-09, 04:55 PM   #6
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I have carpal tunnel in both wrists so I am almost constantly changing my hand position. Its especially troublesom when the temp drops below 50 deg.f I just keep my hands moving and shake them out every so often. Even when I'm typing I have to quit and wiggle my fingers.
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Old 07-28-09, 05:18 PM   #7
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Try tilting your seat back slightly to take some pressure off of your hands.

I use Ergon Performance grips on my flatbar MB and they are the most comfortable grips I've ever used.
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Old 07-28-09, 05:24 PM   #8
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Do you still wear gloves? I wore out a pair of gloves last year, I noticed it when I realized the finger of the glove kinda acted like a noose around my ring finger cutting off blood flow to my finger.
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Old 07-28-09, 05:55 PM   #9
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Could go with north roads type bars. A large enough one will also give you multiple hand positions, but you may not need that. It would be a bummer to have to wear gloves in warm weather.
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Old 07-28-09, 05:58 PM   #10
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I can't explain why this would have just recently started, but I don't think three miles is long enough for this to be a problem with lack of hand positions. It sounds like an issue with bike fit to me.

Have you raised your seat lately? What Hiroshima said about too much weight on your hands is right. If you raised your seat, you probably also need to raise the handlebars.

Bar ends could help makes this go away, but a bike fitting is probably a better way to fix it. Stronger abdominal muscles would probably help too.
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Old 07-28-09, 06:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA Commuter View Post
... I use Ergon Performance grips on my flatbar MB and they are the most comfortable grips I've ever used.
X2 on the Ergons. I use the shorties with my gripshifters on my commuter.

Mikey
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Old 07-28-09, 06:08 PM   #12
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I recently developed a problem with my index and middle finger being numb on a 600k ride. Now that I've read the Sheldon Brown page, I think it actually is a result of too much padding in my case. I had just put padded tape on my bars.

Relieving the problem seems to have come from eating extra fish oil. I read that on here somewhere, and it does seem to have a positive effect.
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